Sunday 11 November 2012

Khazad Dum

 I've read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings four times (three times in Polish in two different translations and once in English) and the whole Moria part is definitely what I liked the most. A very dark place filled with bones and memories of past glory (Dwarven mines and the heavy presence of ancient evil). The movie did pretty well in this part too.
Khazad Dum is how the dwarves called Moria and I like the sound of it. Seems to be more suitable, especially when one considers creatures that lived in the depths of Moria.
Dwellers in the dark are well... dark creatures that dwell in the dark. The spend hundreds of years in a slumber in the deepest places of the mines and wake up when they hear sounds of battle and champions that they could face.

The miniature is pretty well sculpted and makes me think of Gothic style marble or stone gargoyles. Its thin limbs make it look a bit grotesque but not too much and fortunately the effect isn't too cartoony.
The ruins on the base are part of the whole kit so I only needed to glue some small stones and sand around them.

I chose a very dark color scheme with all the recesses on the limbs filled with something that I meant to look like lava to break the dark colors and add more life to this beast.

Cave Trolls are large and pretty much mindless creatures that also choose dark places as their natural habitat. I wanted to paint him in a way that would reflect it. That's why its underbelly is very pale and the dark ares on its forearms and legs look a little like stones. I painted the hammer and chain using rather dark metallics as I thought that these would be made of very old material too.

It looks a bit shiny in the pics but that' the issue with lighting as I used two layers of matt varnish to finish this beast off.

Last but not least - the Big Evil itself. Balrog is an ancient creature of great power that was awoken by greedy dwarves who wouldn't stop digging. I initially painted his skin in a very dark greyish tone but ended up glazing it back to black as it simply looked too bright and I didn't get the element of contrast with flames that I was looking for.

I had to make a minor change to make it possible for him to use two weapons. I cut the fingers of his left hand in half and repositioned them so that they looked as if they were holding something. Then it was just a matter of fitting the sword there.

I painted the little fire embers on the wings and tail as it seemed somehow dull without them. I'd initially planned to do that on the forearms too but in the end decided that it would make him look like a Christmas tree. Right now it seems like there's a good balance between the dark body and very bright flames and embers emanating from it.
Now I need to finish my Dreamer crew for Malifaux (only Coppelius left) and then you can expect lots of greenskins.


  1. Very nice painting work! All three miniatures are amazing! Cave Troll base is nice. Moria - Khazad Dum is my favourite too.

  2. Thanks, glad you like it. Stay tuned as there'll be much more stuff from Moria here soon :)


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